What came first, the anxiety or the minivan?

Have you ever looked at a mom driving a minivan and thought that she looks peaceful? Me neither.

It seems like every f*cking minivan is driven by a frazzled mom who is barking threats while throwing juice boxes and goldfish crackers two rows back to growling, crying children who are simultaneously sticking hands and feet out the side windows.

I know I could be begging the question here. I mean, by the time the woman needs a minivan she has enough kids to drive her up the wall. But perhaps, just perhaps, that minivan has robbed her of her last semblance of peace.

Minivans are like the potato sack of cars. I get in one and quickly become invisible behind that big box of metal. I become the minivan. I am big. I am drawn to Costco. I volunteer to carpool. All is lost.

And how does everyone just stand by and watch this grotesque thing happening to millions of moms across the nation?

Stand up mothers! Fight against the pressure! We will not drive a f*cking box of metal that eats us up and spits us out! We will be better than that! We will resist.

Resist! Resist! Resist!


Iced coffee revelation: the things that get me going

These days my world has shrunken to the size of a successful day of sharing. Or getting enough protein in my kid. Or getting a decent cup of coffee.

There was a time, not so long ago, when getting a good cup of coffee was a given. I could walk or drive to my favorite place, or home brew the perfect cup in my kitchen. I actually roast my own coffee when I’m able to (and you can too – it’s easy!). So stooping to the level of bad coffee indicates desperation.

Last week I saw Starbuck advertise their Toddy, the cold-brew coffee method, and Williams-Sonoma has it too – perfect for iced coffees in the summertime.


Williams-Sonoma’s Toddy Cold Brew System

Cold coffee melts less ice, so flavor isn’t diluted. And I remember reading in the New York Times article Iced Coffee and Tea: (Not) Taking the Heat about how cold-brewed coffee contains less caffeine than if it were hot-brewed. Something about how it extracts less caffeine. And less caffeine is pretty good for me right now since I’m trying to be responsible about the bun in the oven.

But why buy the $35 Toddy contraption when I have a french press and also a manual drip? I decided to give it a try. And boy am I glad I did!

You make this iced coffee the same way you would make it hot except that you use cold water instead of hot water – you could make it stronger if you’re using a lot of ice.




It’s amazing – low acidity, easy, quick. I feel like I’ve just discovered the secret to life. But then again, it’s probably because I’ve been playing restaurant with my kids all morning so my perspective is a little skewed.


Single parenting: things fall apart

Single-parenting while a spouse is out of town is downright difficult. All week I’ve been hearing from my baby daddy about how hard his life is in NYC: “the coffee at that cafe wasn’t that good” and “the library tour was boring” and “I had to finish my milkshake alone.”

I wonder if he was just trying to feign hardship. Or maybe he really is ignorant to what life is like back at the ranch. There are meltdowns, cry fits, lots of timeouts. And then there are the kids.

Baby Rabies put it best here. The week of single parenting is usually a slow digression from super mom on day 1 to despondent alcoholic on day 5. But since my man is out of town for 8 days, and since I’m an overachiever, I have sped through all 5 steps to alcoholic in the 1st few days.


Within 3 hours after dropping Josh off at the airport, I had cleaned all closets, bagged goods for donating, fed and played with the kids, cleaned out files of papers, and cleaned the kitchen. Then that afternoon I took the kids to a water park (for the 1st time in the history of my parenthood).

And if that wasn’t ambitious enough, over the next few days I confidently and independently picked out the stones for our new patio pavers (despite my indecision paralysis). I went to a different stone yard and hauled home the stones to complete another project. Went to Home Depot. Target (twice). Managed to make a dozen meals while not using the stove. Did I mention I am a grant writing consultant? Yeah, been doing that this week too.

But I’m on empty now and still have a few days left. My kids are going about life as usual – normal squabbles, complaints, and demands. But I want to scream, “Don’t you see this is a state of an emergency? Pull your sh*t together!”

And every time my man complains that his food there isn’t that good, I’m about to say, “Just bring that home and I’ll eat it” and then I remember that’s impossible.

He will just have to consume that f*cking milkshake all by his f*cking self. Lucky bastard.

Top 10 pregnancy design flaws


Photo copyright Suzy Q Homemaker

10) Humans are given 9 long months to stress and worry about the baby before it comes out. Cats get 60 days.

9) The poor woman can gain a scary amount of weight without much pleasure involved.

8) Morning sickness comes in the beginning of the pregnancy, before she can publicly use the pregnancy as an excuse.

7) There is little sleep for the gestating mother. Anyone who says this is prepping the woman for the all-nighters ahead is sadistic and undereducated – haven’t they heard of sleep debt?

6) The most immediate reward for sacrificing mind, body, and self-respect is saggy skin and extra fat.

5) There is no equal-opportunity gestating. I would love it if I could have sex and then look at my partner starry-eyed and say, “Golly, I wonder which of us will be pregnant.”

4) Sex drive often increases during pregnancy, which makes absolutely no sense, considering size, shape, and emotional volatility of the woman.

3) The brain of the woman is overcome by a thick haze keeping her from thinking straight. This haze doesn’t lift for years postpartum. F*cking years.

2) There is no damn reason behind who is entrusted with this job of gestating. Let me serve as exhibit A.

1) What the hell is this postpartum depression sh*t?


Illustration copyright Hyperbole and a Half.


Lonny Mag: My guilty pleasure


All images copyright Lonny Magazine

Some people run to the liquor cabinet as soon as the kids are in bed to savor a nightcap. Some people run to the freezer for some ice cream. I could do either (or both).

But even more fun for me, my guilty pleasure is Lonny Magazine, an online design magazine published once every month or two, by the editors of the former Domino Magazine. Lonny is full of current, cutting edge, and famous homes, designers, and products, and offers informal, fun, and easy lessons on interior design and application.

For an extreme multi-tasker like me, it has to be pretty damn special for me to read something that I can’t do while working out or folding laundry or watching a movie with my husband. Lonny makes the cut.

Each Lonny release date I patiently wait for peace and quiet and solitude. I don’t even want to talk to my husband during my Lonny time. And God be with him if he tries to look over my shoulder and commentate on the photos/articles as I’m reading. Off with his head! 

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Because who wants to juggle gorgeous photos of gorgeous homes while you’re corralling dirty kids in a dirty home, or trying to defend the beauty of an $8,000 sofa to a very practical husband?

Check out their, once again, gorgeous April 2013 issue. Go Lonny!

Confessions of a Desperate Do-It-Yourselfer

I’ve never ever stepped outside of my marriage. I love my husband and think he is the most handsome and amazing man alive. But lately I have felt a little alone in my quest to put this blasted house back together again. And while I trudge down to the construction zone with my hammer, partially motivated because it needs to be done, part of it is really because I love it. I wish my husband found this side of me as attractive.

home depot

Take old man Herb for instance. He works at Home Depot, on the verge of needing a cane, and I am thrilled to have him hobble over to me and ask if he can help me find something.

You know you’re in trouble when you get that sort of excitement from that sort of interaction.

Sometimes my husband impresses me by picking up a hammer too. But there has to be a lot of incentives tied into the request, if you know what I mean.